Friday, December 6, 2013

Wednesday-Friday, December 4-6, 2013

December 4th
Last night was a great night to anchor and this morning is a calm 61 degrees.  Temps are to be in the 80's, yes 80's today and for the rest of the week.  We wanted to leave our anchorage at the Melbourne Bridge by 8 am. This will put us into Vero Beach by 1:00.

As I mentioned earlier, Florida does a great job of
keeping up its part of the ICW, so there isn't the stress of looking for trouble spots such as shoals. (Hopefully Colette, you're reading this!)   Consequently, today's trip is just a leisurely cruise with wonderful views of the houses and landscape or waterscape. It's turning out to be a 'dophin-like' kind of day!!  They are frolicking near our boat and afar.  I still haven't been able to get any pictures of them....they are just too quick.  On the surface one minute and then under the next!  One of these days I hope to get lucky!!

My parents spent many winters in Florida.  They would pack their travel trailer each fall and migrate to Long Point Park.  This campground is on a small island on the Indian River just north of the Sebastian Inlet.  So, I was determined to locate Long Point as we passed.  Of course, the ICW does not travel very close to the island but I was able to see some trailers and motorhomes with our binoculars!  My parents made many dear friends at this park and their friends were from all over the states as well as Canada. 

After Long Point, we continued along and could see the Sebastian Inlet Bridge which opens into the ocean.  Mom and Dad spoke frequently about this inlet...on to Wabasso Bridge.  After the Wabasso,  the ICW winds between small islands and the barrier islands. This stretch is more narrower then the previous sections of the Indian River that we have been traversing. The homes and landscaping are out of this world!

Immediately before the Vero Beach Bridge we turned to port and followed the well charted channel along the bridge into the mangrove-lined channel to the Vero Beach City Marina.  I had called and reserved a mooring ball for us and Mighty Fine.  We were assigned mooring #55 which is at the northern most end of the north field. Mighty fine was already tied up, so we came along her port side to raft off. It's not uncommon to see up to 3 boats rafted together on one mooring!
Mighty Fine & Happy Hours II rafted

After checking in at the office, the four of us and doggy Dillon walked to the
beach....9-10 blocks.  The beach area has been renovated since Chrissie and I visited in 2002. However, Mulligans is still there and so is the Atlantic.  LOL.  After touring the area by foot, we decided to sit and enjoy the view of the beach while drinking Mulligan's $5 special, strawberry daiquiris. It was a little too early to eat, so I told everyone that I knew where there was a neat place to eat along the Indian River.  I hoped it was still there!  Yes my memory didn't fail me, for once, and we found a table outside at the Riverside Café.  This place hadn't change since Chrissie and I had eaten there in 2002. 
Donna, Chuck, & Me

           Vero Beach

Looking out from Riverside Cafe

Looking at Moorings from under bridge

Walking back to the marina, we found out about the free GoLine bus and the dog park.  Tomorrow looks like a shopping day!

December 5th

These are our plans for today....take the Goline bus to grocery shop in the morning, pump out at 1:00, and then explore in the afternoon.  Well, the best made plans never work! 

Craig, Donna, and I did hop in their dingy to catch the 10:10 bus to Publix. Chuck opted to stay at the boat because our friends Chris and Mike were coming from Titusville to lend us one of their sideband receivers.  It's a good thing Chuck stayed back because the Links got to the marina about 10:30!  The three of us got back to the dinghy dock at 11:45.  Then we wanted to explore but as I previously stated, the pump out boat was coming at 1:00...but I guess people down here are on island time because the boat arrived at 3:00!!  What a waste of the great afternoon!

We met Kathy and  Curt from the sv/Five and Dime...finally!  We've heard them on the vhf practically all the way down the coast.  Kathy started talking to me on the bus because she spotted my purse that 'Mary' from Fawcett's made.  She also had one and I then found out that she retired from Fawcett's.  One thing led to another and she reminded us that it was Cruiser Happy Hour at 4:00(Thurs only) at the pavillon...BYOB and appetizer.

So, once the pump-out boat left, we followed
Craig and Dillon up the creek that was near our boat to finally do a little exploring before socializing.  We found a small opening in the mangroves that actually was at a picnic area and right across the A1A was the ocean....sure beats walking to the beach like yesterday. 
We couldn't stay long but we did tie up our dinghies and walk across the road to check out this beach.  It was very nice...lifeguards,
restaurant, boardwalk, restrooms, and picnic tables.

On our way back to our boat, our motor kept dying on us...oh no! Our dinghy is our life line to the land.   Each time it would start but Chuck had no idea what was going on with it!   We did make it back to Happy Hours II and picked up the necessities and motored over to the crowded dinghy dock.  We met a few new people but we mainly hung out with Mighty Fine and Mar-a-Lago.  We did meet Pru and Burt from sv/Exuberant, fellow Ohioans. 

 The snacks were great but the six of us decided to hop back into our dinghies and motor under the Vero Beach Bridge to the Riverside Café.  There we met Brian and Jane's, Tony and Liza from sv/Inspiration.  They belong to the same yacht club in Toronto.   It was dark by the time we all left the dock and headed back home.  Half way there our motor was pitch black and we were beside the mangroves!!  After many pulls, the motor started and got us back.  Then, when Chuck tried to start Happy Hours to charge up the batteries, she didn't want to start!  What's with this craziness??

December 6th
Well, we can't leave today because our USPS package didn't arrive yesterday.  The postal service doesn't deliver until after noon.  so, we decided to stay one more day....isn't that just too bad!  :))   Really, I'm so glad because  Vero Beach is a great place to be delayed at!  There are so many things to do here.  So we all, eight of us, decided to motor to the little park that we discovered yesterday and then walk over to the beach.

But, it rained last night and is still drizzling.  The clouds look dark and heavy with rain.  We all decided to wait it out.  Eventually, the weather is to clear up and that's when Jane and Brian, and Tony and Liza showed up in their dinghies.  As we were motoring, we looked like our own little parade!

We all were barefoot'n it! First, we went north to the pier which we found out was private for the condo it was attached to.  A guy was raking for sand fleas, so Chuck and I went over to talk to him.  Then the others came.  Of the eight of us, Liza had never seen a sand flea before!  Then we lost Tony and Craig to a bar while the rest of us walked south down the beach to the Vero Beach walkover by Mulligans.  Instead of a drink, the six of us wanted ice cream.  We found 'Cravings' which had ice cream but the strangest thing....they came up with their prices by weighing the ice cream!  Has anyone ever heard of anything so  ridiculous?  The ice cream really hit the spot and was very refreshing because it's hot out now!

After our treat, we walked back to where we started and picked up our tarp, sandals, and bags.  From there it was a short walk back to the dinghies and back to our boats.  Next on our agenda was to meet under the bridge and across the Indian River at Mr. Manatee's Restaurant.  We wanted to be finished in time to see the Vero Beach's Christmas Boat Parade.  So once we finished with our food we hurried back across the river to wait for the parade.  There were about 15 boats and the decorations were awesome!

Who did you steal that hat from?
Jane looks like she's having a great time at Mr. Manatee's happy hour!!  How many glasses of wine can you drink at one time?

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